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The Change in Classification of Asperger Syndrome: An Exploration of its Effects on Self-Identity
Recently, the American Psychiatric Association eliminated Asperger Syndrome (AS) and introduced the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnostic framework. This change in nosology socially implicates people who self-identify with and derive personal meaning from their AS diagnosis. The current study explored the opinions of adults with AS regarding their identity related to the diagnostic terminology of ASD. Twelve adults with AS completed a semi-structured interview that was transcribed and analyzed qualitatively using Thematic Analysis. The analysis revealed six themes: (a) Derived Meaning, (b) Knowledge and Understanding, (c) Perceptions and Labels, (d) Social Identity, (e) Opinions and Reactions to ASD, and (f) Barriers to Funding and Service Provision. Many participants socially identified and self-categorized as part of the AS community because their challenges matched those described by the DSM-IV. Importantly, many participants described the removal of AS as a threat to their identity, social status, and access to supports. Implications are discussed.
Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM-5, Identity, Qualitative Analysis
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Recommended APA Citation
Huynh, S., McCrimmon, A., & Strong, T. (2020). The Change in Classification of Asperger Syndrome: An Exploration of its Effects on Self-Identity. The Qualitative Report, 25(2), 379-398. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2020.4122